I'm a co-op student with a 4 month contract for the government. I was surprised I got the job, as it was for a development position and I failed almost all technical questions in the interview. I've been working here for 2 weeks and I really don't think it's a good fit.
The person who hired me considers himself an "architect" (didn't specify what kind) and he had hired a co-op student last semester to build him a program and now I'm replacing that one. The building is for scientific research, and though there are people who know Python (the language the program is written in) I don't actually work with anyone in the sense I'm the only working on the source code to this project.
Often times it's unclear to me what my boss wants and when I ask him he says he's not a programmer and that's why they hired me. It's really annoying as he has mentioned several times how the previous student has left good documentation, but I've never seen any documentation (at least not in a developer's sense, for example I was given a Power Point Presentation to go over).
My task was to copy the source code files from another user account and also to clone from Mercurial, but then some source code needed to be changed (for example user permissions, hard coded paths to the previous developer's user account). My boss had told me to replace the previous user name/password with my own where it occurred in the source code; my boss was watching me at the moment and got upset and said "look! in the XML it says the query is false! so why would you change this user name?" I told him I didn't understand and he just repeated the same thing.
My overall task is to make it so the program runs without any errors in a log I was shown, and I feel like these instructions are a little to vague. One error said "Could not load IronPython". I google searched for this error and found nothing useful, so I don't know how to be more productive when my boss won't help me. I don't really know Python and I had told my boss this and he replied "there's going to be a steep learning curve".
In the interview I tried to ask questions but they shut it down really quickly. To some extent I feel they misrepresented the job. For example I know development is usually done in teams.
He sometimes says stuff like "There needs to be a balance between learning and work. After 2 weeks you still don't have the program up and running". I guess the reason for this is A) yes I've worked here for 2 weeks but have only been given access to the source code 3 days ago B) I'm unclear how to get it up and running C) A lot of parts to get it up and running include things that are out of my control, such as getting access to specific tables in the database.
TL;DR I've been giving this job my best effort and my health is suffering from the stress. I'm going to quit as I don't see the situation improving. I would like to take classes but given I've already missed 2 weeks of school, I need to start attending immediately. I only work with my boss. How should I inform him? I know the mature thing to do is face-to-face but I must attend the class tomorrow morning, and in the past when I was sick and he didn't receive my e-mail he said he was about to call the police because he thought something had happened to me and that's why I wasn't at work (I sure hope he was joking, but you never know). I was thinking I could send him an email ASAP explaining my reasons for quitting and stating I am available to meet in person. English isn't his first language and occasionally it can be a problem.
Should I give reasons for quitting, or should I be chalk it up to "I have determined I'm not a good fit for this job and will be returning to classes" (if I'm too far behind in classes I'll find another job, at least part time).
How does this sound?
Given the fact that I don't seem to be making progress and that I am
unfamiliar with the technologies necessary for this job I have decided that I'm going to resign and will be returning to class. Since classes have already started it is important I attend them immediately but I realize that these sorts of things are best discussed face-to-face. I am available to come back to the office for after school. I believe this is for the best, as I'm unhappy with the work and you seem unhappy with the work I am doing. Good luck finding a replacement and I hope things will work out well.
I am not in possession of any company property that needs to be returned.